August 21, 2023
Proposed Reissuance Norfolk District Regional Permit 01 (RP-01) and Norfolk District Regional Permit 11 (RP-11)
The Norfolk District Regulatory Branch is proposing to reissue RP-01 and RP-11 without modifications. The Norfolk District issues Regional Permits (RPs) for a category of activities in Virginia that would result in minimal environmental impacts and are not contrary to the public interest. In addition, RPs can improve regulatory consistency, enhance program efficiency, avoid duplication with other agencies, and simplify the permitting process for the regulated public. RP-01 is currently in effect and will expire on April 15, 2024. RP-11 is currently in effect and will expire on September 20, 2024. Both permits would authorize certain types of work conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and these RPs would not be available for use by any applicant other than VDOT.
The following is a brief summary of each permit:\
RP-01 - Roadway and railway projects involving work, structures, and fill (both temporary and permanent); maximum impacts allowed under RP-01 will be one (1) acre of waters of the United States to include stream channel, wetlands and open waters AND 1,000 linear feet of stream bed per single and complete project;
RP-11 – Eliminates the need to notify the Corps for projects that qualify for the conditions and thresholds of a Nationwide Permit (NWP) but would typically require a Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) in accordance with General Condition 18(c) of the NWPs when any federally listed endangered or threatened species or designated critical habitat might be affected or is in the vicinity of the activity. The RP-11 can only be used with an effect determination of No Effect or May Affect, Not Likely to Adversely Effect the species or critical habitat.
The existing Regional Permits can be found on our website at: https://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/RBregional.aspx
AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Section 10 of the River and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217).
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION: The decision whether to reissue this general permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed permitted activity on the public interest. The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).
The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed Regional Permit. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 15 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing. The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.
Preliminary review indicates that: (1) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) no activity will be authorized by this permit that will jeopardize the continued existence of a threatened or endangered species or a species proposed for such designation, as identified under the Federal Endangered Species Act, or will destroy or adversely modify the critical habitat of such species. Projects which have an effect on any species of fish, wildlife or plant (or critical habitat) which is designated or proposed as endangered or threatened pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P. L. 93-305) will not qualify for this permit until the required procedures have been followed; and (3) known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places located in or near the permit area, or that would likely be affected by the proposal will be properly coordinated with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources pursuant to the provisions of 36 CFR Part 800, regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended, 16 U.S.C. 470f, and 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C, Processing of Department of the Army Permits. Additional information might change any of these findings. For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, the Corps must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal zone will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program (VCP). The Norfolk District will apply for Coastal Zone Management Act consistency via a separate request.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Some of Virginia's waterways contain Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larvae, juvenile, and adult life stages for a variety of species. An EFH Assessment for each applicable RP will be provided to NOAA under separate cover for consultation. Any required permit conditions will be added as deemed necessary based upon the conclusion of the consultation.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to email@example.com, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch (ATTN: Mr. Brian Denson), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on September 21, 2023.
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY: Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.
If you have any questions about the existing permits or the reissuance process, please send an email to the project manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Mr. Denson at 757-201-7792.